Individual study: Diversification of rice-based cropping systems to improve soil fertility, sustainable productivity and economics
Ali R.I., Awan T.H., Ahmad M., Saleem M.U. & Akhtar M. (2012) Diversification of rice-based cropping systems to improve soil fertility, sustainable productivity and economics. The Journal of Animal & Plant Sciences, 22, 108-112
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Amend the soil with crops grown as green manures
A controlled, randomized, replicated experiment in 2007-2008 on clay loam in Pakistan (Ali et al. 2012) found the highest rice yield after a sesbania Sesbania rostrata green manure (3.73 t/ha), then mungbean Vigna radiata (3.57 t/ha) and berseem Trifolium alexandrinum (3.53 t/ha) green manures, compared to the rice Oryza sativa-wheat Triticum aestivum only rotation (2.59 t/ha). Wheat yield was also higher under sesbania (2.81 t/ha), mungbean (2.69 t/ha) and cowpeas Vigna unguiulata (2.63 t/ha) compared to rice-wheat only (2.59 t/ha). Soil organic carbon increased from 0.67% to 0.72% (of total soil collected) during the experiment. Four green manures were grown and harvested prior to the planting of a rice-wheat rotation, which included: mungbean, cowpeas, sunflower Helianthus annuus, sesbania. Three more green manures were sown after harvesting the rice crop including: berseem, lentil Lens culinaris, canola Brassica napus. These were compared to a rice-wheat crop only rotation. All green manures were incorporated into the soil before rice or wheat was transplanted or sown. Plots were 10 x 14 m. There were three replicates. Soils were sampled before sowing and after harvest of the rice-wheat crops to 20 cm depth.